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When Aorta looks like a railway track . . . think about “Extreme” LV dysfunction !

Posted Dec 18 2011 10:18am

Aorta  is connected to the left ventricle  like a hose pipe.The energy  generated within the LV myocardium is efficiently delivered to  the root of the aorta. Mechano -coupling of LV with  aorta  is important means by which  blood is  is ejected into systemic circulation .

Even though aorta  has  mainly passive  contraction and ( The  wind- kessel effect) ,  the most  powerful contractile force  of aorta comes from   the  transfer of kinetic energy from  left ventricle .

This helps  us to  measure the LV function  simply by  looking at the aortic wall motion.Since aorta is the final common exit for LV  it effectively represents the global LV  function . The  ubiquitous errors during  LV border tracing  and it’s subsequent mathematical  amplification  can be avoided. Here is a  patient with severe LV dysfunction  whose  aortic  motion is depicted . We refer to this as   ” rail roading” sign of Aorta  which  implies  a critically dysfunctional LV . His EF was 23 %  The aortic motion is esepcailly useful in categorizing severe LV dysfunction  from moderate LV dysfunction (The sensitivity we feel is as high as sophisticated tissue motion Doppler protocols .Of course  it may lack specificity !* as hardened  aorta due to aging can confound the aortic motion )


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